Sylt is an intiguing name for a unique island, that crowns Germany’s northernmost geographical extension in more ways than one.
Tucked between the sand flats of the Wadden Sea National Park to the east and the surging waters of its long North Sea flank to the west, Sylt is blessed with remote sandy beaches, stunning dunes, atmospheric villages all combined with sumptuous dining plus sophisticated holiday destinations.
The island’s particular charm can be seen in the local villages of Kampen, Keitum, List or Rantum with their quaint thatch roof style houses nestled in heather-covered heathland. A rather different facet of the island can be seen in its luxury boutiques, world class hotels and a pulsating nightlife that caters to the German's elite.
A visit to the Red Cliff is a must. This spectacular coastline stretches along a 4km long escarpment and is named after the red glow that can be seen at certain times of the day.
Sylt has a well-deserved reputation as an El Dorado for gourmets. Six local venues have at least one of the coveted Michelin stars, that's in an area of just over 100 square kilometres. Both the Dorint Hotel Söl'ring Hof, under the direction of Chef Johannes King, and the Fährhaus in Munkmarsch, enjoy 2-star status.
And then there’s the cult beach establishment, Sansibar, which is also known well beyond Sylt’s shores. Snuggly fitted amongst the dunes of Rantum, it has become something of a pilgrimage destination for celebrities and tourists alike over the past 30 years. The enormous creativity of its kitchen staff and the fresh, regional ingredients used keep even the most discerning foodies coming back for more. Such typical fare as fish and seafood is an absolute must on the menu.
Gosch, the renowned specialist for maritime delicacies, has numerous local eateries and offers the island's most exquisite ocean speciality, the Sylt oyster. This high prized oyster is cultivated by the Dittmeyer oyster company exclusively in the sand flats, that are exposed and submerged by the tides of the Wadden Sea, off the coast of List. They are best eaten with a glass of champagne in the refreshing breeze of North Sea air.
Spas and wellness
Anyone hoping to soothe their soul can do so in its most glorious form on Sylt. The clean, invigorating North Sea air has natural healing powers to strengthen the immune system while also having a beneficial effect on the skin. The island also boasts a very extensive range of spa and wellness facilities. For example, Hotel Budersand's in-house spa offers saunas and steam baths, massages, beauty treatments to ensure deep relaxation and serenity for the body, spirit and soul.
For those looking for a more active holiday Sylt provides a wealth of tournaments and water sports competitions stemming from its age-old connection to the sea. In the summer months, the Super Sail Sylt and the Sylt Sailing Week are held at the island’s southern tip. From the beach of Hörnum visitors can see high-performance, ultra fast catamarans racing and during the second event in August, witness an ocean of colourful sails as yachtsmen battle it out for top honours in the churning waters of the North Sea.
No less exciting are the top-class events held on land, or on horseback, which lure a large international crowd to Germany’s favourite island each summer. One of the season’s highlights is the Beach Polo World Cup sponsored by Julius Bär and held every Pentecost weekend at Hörnum. The international polo elite, pedigree horses, and an audience of thousands gather together against a stunning natural backdrop.
At the German Polo Masters, the country’s most prestigious polo tournament, northern German character meets up with effervescent Argentine temperament. Skilled polo players keep the spectators enthralled during the fast-paced matches, and the exciting tournament atmosphere also spills into the colourful side event programme.
The elegant village of Kampen offers a wealth of shopping, from the newly-opened Burberry store to Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Chopard and Cartier all the way to Montblanc and Wempe Jewelers, just about all of the well-known luxury brands have settled on the chic Strönwai.
The polo label La Martina actually has two store locations in Keitum, the venue for Sylt’s annual Polo Masters tournament. Strönwai’s numerous bars and clubs, such as the legendary Gogärtchen with its loyal international patronage, keep their doors open to the small hours of the morning.
It is all but impossible to resist the fascination of Sylt, an island of superlatives whose culinary delights, luxury shopping, relaxation and wellness, art and culture, sports and first class nightlife captivate both the young and old.
Julius Bär Beach Polo Open
26 – 27 May 2012, Hörnum/Sylt
Sal. Oppenheim Gold Cup - German Polo Masters
20 – 29 July 2012, Keitum/Sylt
Hörnumer Straße 80, Rantum/Sylt
Tel. +49 (0)4651 964 646
Heefwai 1, Munkmarsch/Sylt
Tel. +49 (0)4651 939 70
Boy-Nielsen-Straße 10, Tinnum/Sylt
Tel. +49 (0)4651 889 90
Weidemannweg 3, Keitum/Sylt
Tel. +49 (0)4651 321 50